Jig Fishing Tips
By Hut Reeves
Jig fishing is something that a lot of people really don’t have much confidence in, so I’m going to give you a few tips on jig fishing. Once you learn to use a jig and get confidence in one, it is a very deadly bait. I never go fishing without at least two jigs tied on. I don’t know why, but for some reason the big bass really prefer a jig over a Texas-rigged plastic most of the time. A jig imitates both crawfish and baitfish. There are several different kinds of jigs but there are only three that I will mention.
There is the classic Arkie head flipping jig. I usually pair it up with some kind of craw trailer like a Strike King Rage Craw or a Berkeley Chigger Craw. It’s good to use around docks, flooded timber, grass, bushes, and pretty much any kind of cover. The best way to fish that jig is slow. Just drag it, shake it, and hop it. Use heavy rods, heavy line, and fast gear ratio reels.
The next one is a football jig which is mainly for fishing rocks and deep water. I drag it and hop it. Another way that can sometimes catch fish effectively is stroking a football jig. You just pull your rod up very quickly, and you let your jig fall on semi-slack line. The jig has a football-shaped head as you can imagine. Just like the flipping jig I use a craw trailer, I use heavy rods, 15- to 20-poun fluorocarbon line and fast reels.
The third jig is a swim jig, which usually imitates a baitfish such as shad or bluegill. You use it around any cover: flooded timber, grass, brush, rocks, etc. I always pair the jig with some kind of swim bait trailers, and occasionally a craw trailer. I use a heavy rod with a limber tip, heavy line, and a 6.4:1 to a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel. I swim it and pop it occasionally. I use a swim jig in cleaner water because it is more subtle and don’t have as much thump as a Chatterbait or spinnerbait. Swim jigs can catch bass a lot of times whenever they won’t bite anything else.
I hope that these tips help you catch a lot more bass. Just remember that when in doubt, just throw a jig. It will help you catch some big fish.